UCLA Ranked No. 3 in USA Softball Preseason Poll
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA softball team enters the 2022 season at No. 3 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Preseason Top 25, USA Softball announced Tuesday.
The Bruins received 549 points after finishing the 2021 campaign as the No. 5 team in the country. Ahead of UCLA is No. 1 Oklahoma – who received 625 points and all 25 first-place votes – and No. 2 Alabama. The full top 25 can be seen at this link.
This marks the fourth consecutive year that UCLA has been ranked within the top 5 of the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll as well as the 12th overall time the Bruins have appeared in the top 5 in the preseason poll's 20-year history.
The poll is voted on by coaching representatives of 11 Division I Conferences in the 10 USA Softball Regions and by media members.
Coming off a 47-7 (19-2 Pac-12) record in 2021, a No. 5 final ranking in the USA Today/NFCA poll and a sixth-straight appearance at the Women's College World Series, UCLA is returning a veteran team featuring 10 players who appeared in at least 40 games and 17 total letter winners who accounted for 63% of its hits and 82% of its runs.
The Bruins have also added six newcomers, including freshman utility Savannah Pola who was slotted as one of D1Softball's Top 75 impact freshman and left-handed grad transfer pitcher Lauren Shaw from Iowa who posted a career 2.26 earned run average over three seasons as a Hawkeye.
Among UCLA's returners are National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Americans Aaliyah Jordan, Megan Faraimo and Maya Brady on the First Team as well as Briana Perez on the Third Team.